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In the Aelathan language, the tempus refers to the noun, usually in the vocative case, that is placed directly after the verb and acts as the verb's tense. The tempus is always a neuter gender noun that falls under "-éþ", the "time" noun class. Unlike other parts of speech and with the exception of the present tempus "astreþ", the tempus cannot be dropped through word drop.


The verb acts a proclitic to the tempus, always positioning itself before it. As tempuses are nouns, they have nominal means all attributed to time; "astreþ" (the present time), "arjisseþ" (a day of the week), "aheþ" (the entire span of time after something), etc. These meanings are attributed as the tense of the verb.

"antén (astreþ (the present time))" "antén arjisseþ (a day of the week)" "antén aheþ (the entire span of time after something)"
to eat, (infinitive for the present tense only) to eat on a specfic day of the week (that may or may not be specified) to be eating ever since some other event or action

The tempuses are also used to negate verbs by placing them in the semblative case to modify the verb.

"Amnäiaprogho aþerh avonu aeþ asjafsofëþ; atrafibjattis, amnyavyvja avonu arhidheþ."
"Culprit-ILL I-GEN.VOC sight-POSS.VOC temporary.time-VOC lack.of.time-SEMB; crime.scene-INE, victim-ILL (my).sight-POSS.VOC yesterday-VOC."
« "I did not see the culprit(;) at the scene of the crime, though I saw the victim." » (aelvuþ)

Time frame marking[]

Tempuses can describe arrays of time both large and narrow and thus many tempuses overlap others or have similar meaning, though none have the same meaning and most cannot take the place of another without changing the subtle semantic nuances. Because of this, Aelatha uses time frame marking. Complex sentences are usually placed in order from tempus that handles the greatest amount of time adding up to the smallest at the end of the sentence. When this happens, the largest time marks the sentence and all following sentences as the time of all the verbs. The largest time that marks the time frame of all following verbs is called the "topical time marker."

"Aexësobert aexëchëjäid attic aräidio anerjeþ adifneþ1, acchajurupiun (attic) andjodäido aisreþ2. Aexëifëjäim aidjer aforo aintheþ3; ajagombäim, aväefugräet (attic) afäigrëto andeþ4?"
"Violin-GEN.VIA play-POSS.VIA learning-POSS.VOC specific.year-VOC springtime-VOC1, Europe-PER ( travel-POSS.VOC summertime-VOC2. Answer-VIA person-GEN.VOC knowledge-POSS.VOC future-VOC3; question-MOD action-SUBE ( action-POSS.VOC future.of.future-VOC4."
« "Last year, I traveled1 through Europe in the spring1 and learned2 to play the violin throughout the summer2. Who knows3 what I will4 do this year4?" » (aelsjonoþ)
  • The paragraph above demonstrates that the actions take place throughout the main tempus in red while smaller portions of time during the red period are marked in blue. It is to be noted that the actions that take place outside the span of that year (knows and will do) are marked with the future and the distal future respectively.

Time is relative to the largest tempus in a phrase and not to the moment in time the speaker is traveling through, so phrases are worded using the largest tempus as the starting point of all following actions, throwing actions during the largest time frame into present tenses, those after it into future tenses and those before it into past tenses. Compare the examples above and below:

"Ajanibellaþ, allebidal ache airhyfu aveðieþ. Assembidal (ache) afunseu adheþ1, agaxajfecrinthas ajfecir ajfecrattis aintheþ2."
"Properness-MOD book-SUPE young.woman-GEN.VOC reading-POSS.VOC Book-ACC (young.woman-GEN.VOC) purchase-POSS.VOC past-VOC1, movie-INS theater-GEN.VOC show-POSS.VOC future-VOC2."
« "Today, I want to read the book. I bought the book yesterday and the movie comes to theaters tomorrow." » (aelvuþ)
  • The main tempus in red marks the topical time as today, while actions that happen before today (yesterday) and after (tomorrow) are marked in blue and sent into the past and future tenses.

When a new time frame needs to be marked, the tempus "ambreþ" (lit., the end of an era) is used. In some cases ambreþ can be and is often avoided, but it is required when the new time frame covers an expanse of time smaller than that of the previous time frame.

"Atrabsorjattäis, afiþerhu aiderb abjurnuþ aeþ1 ambreþ. Ajanricrël, asjalaþa atragheyduj, allëlidonëjoþ aþer acrunu araeþ2. Avamuerdijul agheyd alväedhuj acereþ..."
"School-INE, teenage.girl-SOC event-GEN.VOC happening-POSS.VOC temporary.time-VOC1 end.of.era.-VOC. Presumption-MOD Aelatha-SEMB class-INE, news-SUPE teenage.girl-GEN.VOC hearing-GEN.VOC same.time-VOC2. Verb-VIA class-GEN.VOC learning-POSS.VOC progression.of.time-VOC.
« "It happened while1 I was at school. I believe I was in2 Aelathan class when I found out. We were learning about verbs..." » (aelvuþ)
  • Because "aeþ"(1) is a larger time period in this case and therefore usurps "araeþ"(2), "ambreþ" is used to change the topical time to "during class."

Compound tempuses[]

A verb can be modified by more than one tempus at a time. This is called a compound tempus. A compound tempus is put in order from smallest time frame to largest and is usually used to disambiguate time within the same sentence, especially when a larger time acts as a tempus when the speaker does not intend to mark a new time frame as the topical time.

"Acchanderho apacjef adacenisch (astreþ); (amnäinderho) (apacjef) aneggisch axiemeþ arhidheþ.
"Teenage-boy-PER rain-GEN.VOC soaking-POSS.VOC (present.time-VOC); (teenage.boy-ILL) (rain-GEN.VOC) weather.change-POSS.VOC entire.duration-VOC previous day-VOC
« "Yesterday, while it was raining, I got soaked." » (aelsjonoþ)

Combining tempuses[]

Tempuses can combine with other nouns to create new words. The tempus is always added at the tail of a compound, where it replaces both the honorific and noun class.

  • Axad (life, n.noun) and Aelleþ (postmortem future, tempus) yield Axaelleþ (the afterlife, n.noun, tempus)

Newly created words can only be used as tempuses if they are neuter gender nouns.

Tempuses as noun cases[]

Adding a tempus at the head of another noun turns the tempus into one of many temporal noun cases. The time frame a tempus attributes to a noun usually gives the noun a sense of when that noun exists in reference with the tempus of the verb. For example, when a verb is an the present tense and a noun is in the pre-temporative case (past tense tempus case), the action has a sense of happening before the noun was ever important in the matter or before the noun ever existed. Tempuses as noun cases are considered a bit formal and esoteric, even in casual or impolite forms.

"Accalleþðerhattis atragyxius, addis regum dheþ."
"House-IMNM forest-INE middle-aged.woman-GEN.VOC standing-POSS.VOC time.before.this.point-VOC."
« "She stood in the forest next to (where) the house (would be built later)." » (aelsjonoþ)

List of common tempuses[]

Most common tempuses
Noun case name Tempus Noun meaning Tempus meaning Example
Temporative (TMP) astreþ the present time present tense
(only tempus removable
through word drop)
agacís astreþ to walk
Pre-temporative (PRTM) abreþ the time soon before
this point
before now, recent past agacís abreþ to just have walked
Post-temporative (PTTM) alexeþ the time soon after
this point
after now, near future agacís alexeþ to be about to walk
Progressive (PRO) acereþ the progression of time
the progression through time
forms the progressive aspect agacís acereþ to be walking
Egressive (EGR) ameþ a commencent in the
present time
starting now, from now on agacís ameþ to start walking now
Pre-egressive (PRGR) agalleþ a commencement in
the past
beginning before, beginning then agacís agaleþ to have started walking
Post-egressive (PTGR) astasseþ a commencement in
the future
beginning later, beginning after agacís astasseþ to start walking later
Terminative (TERM) anareþ the time leading up
to this point
until; habitual action agacís anareþ to walk until now;
to stop walking
Pre-terminative (PRTR) aisseþ the time leading up
to the past
until before, until the start
historic past, prenatal past
agacís aisseþ to walk until before
(before another action)
Post-terminative (PTTR) aelleþ the time leading from
the future
postmortem future agacís aelleþ to walk until later;
to still be walking
Temporal (TEMP) araeþ the same time "during, while, as..." agacís araeþ to walk at the same time
Post-temporal (PTMP) aheþ the entire time
"since..." agacís aheþ to be walking ever since
Essive (ESS) aeþ a temporary time
a brief time
on (a date);
at (a minute/hour/etc.)
agacís aeþ to walk
(on a date, or time)
Diessive (DSE) arjisseþ a day of the week on a day of the week agacís arjisseþ to walk
(on a day of the week)
Mensessive (MSE) adelmeþ a month of the year in a month or season agacís adelmeþ to walk
(in a month of the year)
Annessive (ANE) anerjeþ a specific year in a year, age, epoch agacís anerjeþ to walk
(in a specific year)
Pre-nominative (PNOM) adheþ the past past tense (the action
has no affect in the present)
agacís adheþ to have walked
(in the past)
Pluper-nominative (PLNM) avhabreþ the past of the past pluperfect tense agacís avhabreþ to have walked
(before doing another past action)
nominative (IMNM)
accalleþ the future of the past forms actions that follow
directly other actions
in the past
agacís accalleþ to have walked
(after doing another past action)
Post-nominative (PTNM) aintheþ the future future tense agacís aintheþ to walk later
(in the future)
nominative (ANNM)
aþieþ the past of the future future perfect tense agacís aþieþ to walk later
(but before another future action)
Distal Nominative (DSNM) andeþ the future of the future forms actions that follow
directly other actions
in the future
agacís andeþ to walk much later
(after another future action)
Alternate Temporal (ALTT) argacheþ the alternative timeline actions that take place
contrary to reality; hypotheticals
agacís argacheþ to hypothetically walk
Perpetuative (PER) aghetteþ all the time
the perpetual time
actions that happen without
stopping; habitual or generic actions
agacís aghetteþ to usually walk
to habitually walk
Completive (COMP) axiemeþ the entire time frame actions that happen during the
entire specified time frame
of an event
agacís axiemeþ to walk the entire time
(of an event)
Regressive (RGE) arineþ going backwards through time actions that are happening again
actions that are happening in
the opposite fashion of the norm
agacís arineþ to un-walk; to walk again; to re-walk

See also[]